Volunteering: A Different Kind of Romance

Many of us are searching for true love—a soulmate who will make us feel complete in a world that’s ever-changing. But love is a vast enterprise. It’s more than the giddy emotions we have when we see our crushes and more than the palpitations we feel on our first kiss. In limiting our view of love, we forget that true love comes in various forms, and that service is love in its truest form.

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Little by Little, Day by Day

“. . . I understood today that I have amazing friends who have good hearts and that there are amazing strangers and unsung hero volunteers doing this tirelessly with zero recognition. And perhaps that will never be enough to make a big difference in this cruel world we live in. But it will have to be enough for today.” Continue reading “Little by Little, Day by Day”

Volunteer Management System: A Strategic Step towards Volunteer Preservation

VMS Workshop


Jasmine Salem of iVolunteer shares a brief summary of the Volunteer Management System model, as discussed at a recent workshop last July 2, 2016.

Way back in my University days, I perceived volunteer management as merely posting an announcement for volunteer searches, filtering those volunteers as per an organization’s criteria and then, briefing those confirmed set of people.

As volunteerism evolved into a more sustainable and relevant activity, a system in developing volunteer programs is now often applied to ensure an efficient and strong volunteer involvement. And last July 2, 2016, iVolunteer Philippines led a Volunteer Management Systems (VMS) workshop in Makati together with other groups and volunteer leaders. We had Jay Neil Ancheta from Habitat for Humanity as our main resource speaker, who was with his co-facilitators, Krishna Jennifer Sonza and Nathaniel George Hipolito from Jesuit Volunteers of the Philippines. With their extensive knowledge and experience, they enlightened the iVolunteer Staff and iVolunteer Partner Organizations on VMS.

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It’s a GO!

Preparations for the Go Volunteer! Event are now in full swing, as iVolunteer Philippines held its kick-off session last January 23, with over 20 Non-Profits and Partner Organizations in attendance. The kick-off event, held at the Office Project in Salcedo, Makati, brought together iVolunteer’s various Partner Organizations – both current and new, to share what everyone should look forward … Continue reading It’s a GO!

iVolunteer at Bel Air’s Clean Up Flea Market

One fine Sunday, March 2, 2014, I volunteered to be part of the rummage sale at Bel-Air Village in Makati City.  This is one of the fund raising projects of  iVolunteer organization.

1 Bel Air Clean Up!

It was a Clean UP! Flea Market activity inside the subdivision, the venue was at Park 3 Solar Street.  From 7am to 3pm, mostly resident vendors sold pre-loved items which included clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, luggage, CDs, books, toys, household items and a lot more.

4 over 120 vendorsThere were over 120 non-food tables that filled the whole covered court.

2 IVolunteer tables 30 and 31There were few food tables found on the side of the court for the shoppers and vendors.

iVolunteer had two tables.  We were divided into two teams.  On one table were men’s clothing and miscellaneous items headed by Hazel and Olenny.  My partner for the women’s clothing was Mana. She is a one petite lady that I could pass as her mother, except that she has nice big eyes compared to my twinkling small eyes. I’ve met Hazel, Olenny and Mana in the past. They are part of the iVolunteer core team. Continue reading “iVolunteer at Bel Air’s Clean Up Flea Market”

Ang Hamon Kong Tinanggap

Noong nakaraang buwan, sumali ako sa Bayani Challenge ng Gawad Kalinga sa Padre Garcia, Batangas. Nasubukan ko na ang pag-volunteer, pero yung sa mga relief operations na pa-isa-isang araw at dito lang sa siyudad. First time kong mag-volunteer na sa probinsya na, limang sunud-sunod na araw pa! Hindi ko alam kung anong nasa isip ko at tinanggap ko ang hamon; siguro, tulad ng marami, for the experience.

Giving the GK houses a brand new coat of paint!
Giving the GK houses a brand new coat of paint!

And what an experience it was. Yung tipong out-of-your-comfort-zone. Mahiyain akong tao, pero ang dami kong naging kaibigan pagkatapos ng limang araw na iyon. Kahit kaunting araw lang kami magkakasama, ultimate bonding experience rin siya—mula sa on-the-spot na pag-iisip ng programa at palaro para sa mga bata, hanggang sa pagkukuwentuhan at tawanan namin pagkatapos. Medyo importante rin sa akin ang kalinisan, pero okay lang na tumatagaktak ang pawis ko habang nagpipintura ng mga bahay. Makakalimutan mo yun sa saya ng pagtrabaho, lalo na kung may aabangan kang firehose truck sa hapon. At tulad ng marami sa atin ngayon, nasanay ako sa mga pribilehiyo ng pamumuhay sa siyudad, pero hindi ko ito hinanap-hanap doon. Masaya ring kalimutan pansamantala kung may mga notifications ka, kasi nararanasan mo in real time ang pakikisalamuha sa iba, bata man o matanda. Naramdaman ko rin doon ang tunay na malasakit sa kapwa, lalo na sa pamilya nina Nanay Suzette na nagkupkop sa amin ng kaibigan ko. Hindi kami umaalis ng bahay hangga’t hindi napapakain, at isinakripisyo ng pamilya niya ang comfort ng kanilang tulugan para sa amin.

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Students with Huge Hearts

On my third day at the Batangas Bayani Challenge, I found myself grouped with six new faces. They told me that they were students from Batangas State University (and in my head, I immediately dubbed them the “BSU Crew” because that sounds so badass).

I remember them telling me that they were actually in the middle of their finals and were feverishly working on a 400-question paper. They’d be with us volunteering from morning to mid-afternoon and then after that, they’d skip the Kalinga nights so that they could work on their paper. I asked them how that was going and they gave me that same smile I remember giving people who’d ask me how my thesis was going because I don’t really know what to answer… 😛 Continue reading “Students with Huge Hearts”

Do Good and Do More

“This is not a feel-good experience. This is a reminder and commitment to DO better.”
― Marc Sebastian, Gawad Kalinga

Five days later and I’m home. I’m sunburnt, I have an early day tomorrow since it’s back to work, and my dog seems to have decided to punish me for abandoning him (he keeps cuddling against my sister instead of me and it’s making me jealous).

But I’m happy and unsatisfied. I’m happy because this was proof and a reminder that where I’m at right now and the work we do in iVolunteer is an amazing purpose and vehicle for a stronger, united Philippines. I’m unsatisfied because I left feeling like five days wasn’t enough; I wanted to do more within the community. Continue reading “Do Good and Do More”